Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tour a Colonial Home’s Charming Renovation

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This Kansas colonial-style home received an incredible and colorful renovation. —  Country Living

The new issue of Sweet Paul is out. We’re so excited! — Sweet Paul Magazine

Take a peek at Jessica’s cozy and charming bedroom. — House*Tweaking

These photographers look like paintings . . . and for a good reason! — PopSugar Home

This home office makeover is so inspiring. — Shabby Creek Cottage

This dinner menu features a spring-inspired side dish. Yum! — The Blender

Tips for staying organized without closets. — Refinery29

10 must-know room measurements. — House Beautiful

Author Danielle Rollins Shares Her Entertaining Tips

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This week Danielle Rollins, author of Soiree, joined us on Facebook for a chat and Q&A with fans.She provided so many great tips that we were compelled to round up all of them for any fans that might have missed the online chat on Wednesday. Whether you’re hosting a holiday brunch, intimate dinner or grand party, these tips will serve you well in your party preparations.



Throwing a party in a small city apartment “The biggest tip that I can give anyone is that it’s not the size of the space, it’s the amount of storage you have available. I love the Coleman camping tables that you can fold up and hide under your sofa. You can pull them out for a party, cover them with beautiful linens. Check out the party I did with Miles Redd from the September 2011 issue of Veranda. I did this party in a dressing room! Talk about a small space and thinking outside the box.”

Decorating for a spring party or gathering “Use the colors you already have. Look at what’s seasonal, too. I always try to start with the flowers. Look at the grocery store at florals that are available and then pair these with colors you already have. Think seasonal, think soft. For me, spring is about the paler colors: the pinks, the lavenders and the soft blues.”


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Creating a fun theme for a bridal shower “I love something that’s girly. I love a tea party presented in a modern way. It’s a perfect way to get a bunch of girls together and it’s less stress, since you can prepare or purchase all of the food ahead of time. Check out the girly-girly tea party on page 94 of my book for more ideas! There’s a great drink recipe on that page as well.”

Thinking outside the box for party food “One of my new favorite ideas that I’m planning on doing myself is a deviled eggs bar, where the deviled eggs are already prepared and we have Himalayan sea salt, crumbled candied bacon, smoked salt and capers and more toppings set up so people can personalize their deviled eggs. It’s something different and fun!”

How to relax and enjoy the party when you’re hosting “Honestly it’s all in the attitude. Prepare and set out as you can ahead of time. Even if it’s something that has to be assembled at the time of the party, try to prepare each part of that dish ahead of time. Also establish a timeline for yourself that allows you some time to get dressed, relax, and prepare before your guests arrive. It’s really about being with your guests and enjoying their company.”


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Entertaining with children “I usually have a separate children’s table where I can set up activities for the kids (keeping in mind very short attention spans!). It can be as simple as buckets of sidewalk chalk or personalizing Easter eggs. We also love to stage the Easter egg hunt about the time that the adults eat, and have the children eat first.” “With any children’s party it’s best to keep it simple and pick a theme based on something the children love — I did one for my own child around ladybugs of all things, and I have done another party with reptiles. It’s about capturing the child’s interests and imagination. How about splurging on a festive cake and don’t forget to take lots of pictures


How to set up the order of a buffet “Think form and function. Silverware, if it’s not on the table, should go first and should be rolled up in napkins. Then set out your stacks of plates. Place lighter foods at the beginning of the buffet and heavier foods and meats in the middle. I usually set up a separate dessert table, too. This way people can make multiple trips. The most important part of any buffet is to make multiple but smaller dishes of something for your table so you can keep things replenished easily. No one likes to take the last of anything!”


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Choosing registry items “It’s always important to only purchase what you use. If you don’t think you’re going to use fine china, skip it and invest in more casual pieces that you’ll use all the time. I love mixing and matching and I rarely use full sets the way they’re intended. Mixing and matching allows me to have a lot more freedom to expand on what I have. Also remember, this isn’t the last time you’re going to buy tableware. Start with a base collection that you can add to over time.”

Planning a baby shower theme and menu “I would start with the food and drink. Find out what your expecting mom has been craving. (Pregnant women can be quite picky!) Try to build your menu from there. As for decorations, you can riff on the colors of the nursery and create your theme and color scheme around that. Any part of entertaining is giving a gift of time, so find out what that person likes and you can never go wrong. One of my favorite baby showers I did was having all of the guests bring their favorite baby book. It created a very sweet present for the expecting mom.”


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Setting up a party menu for teen fashionistas “I love anything in mini. Remember, it’s not what you serve, it’s how you serve it. Think mini sliders, mini corn dogs, mini cupcakes, mini cones of french fries, or mini mac and cheese. You can also create a special drink for them in a shade of hot pink. I’m sure your budding fashionistas will love this menu!”

Pursuing a career in party planning “Try to find someone you can intern with or learn from. Ask as many people in that current profession how they got there, what they do, and their best advice. Take advice from any and every source you can get. Find something that’s unique that other people aren’t doing to create a niche for yourself in the market.”

Simple Easter centerpiece ideas “Decorate with baskets filled with pastel dyed Easter eggs, simple clay pots with hyacinths or other seasonal florals. I love Pottery Barn’s Easter collection, because it’s something you can reuse for other occasions.”  



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How to pair flowers with a terra cotta vase “Look at the colors in nature, think of a monarch butterfly or peacock — none of the colors seem to really match but they all coordinate! I love orange flowers, they are some of my very favorites. spiky protea pincushion flower, orange ranunculus, Seville roses… and don’t be afraid to mix multiple florals in the similar shades to keep it interesting.”

Throwing a simple and laid back high school graduation dinner party “Why not do something very simple? What about pizza? I have done a party outdoors where it was one long table and served simple pizzas, but served them on wooden pizza peels with salad passed family-style. Everyone loved it, it was easy, it was affordable and it was simple. Take a look at Southern Living, June 2011 on my website for inspiration.”


All photos courtesy Danielle Rollins

We’re Wishing You a Happy Easter With Our Easter Basket Giveaway!

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We’re excited to celebrate Easter by giving away a special Easter basket delivered to your door, chock full of yummy San Francisco edibles and beautiful Pottery Barn pieces. Want to win this yummy basket, brimming over with delightful treats? Keep reading to find out what’s in the basket, and to learn how to enter to win it.


Our Easter Basket contains:



Want to win this fabulous Easter basket? Just fill out the form below (you can click here for the official rules). Make sure to also leave a comment and tell us how you’re celebrating Easter this year!

Thank you for reading! This contest is now closed.

Easy Easter DIYs — Try Them This Weekend!

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Looking for some easy ways to add some DIY style to your Easter festivities on the 30th? We’ve rounded up some fun ideas that won’t take up a lot of time. Which one are you going to try this weekend?


Eat Drink Chic is offering this free downloadable printable tag, which would be perfect to add to an Easter basket or present. Inspired by origami, we love its use of color and glitter.



This charming Easter Egg bunting from Flax & Twine is actually upcycled from cereal boxes. Pretty and eco as well!

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How clever is this bouquet, which uses florals and Easter egg radishes? Find the steps for this DIY on Remodelista.



Understated, elegant, modern and textured. The Norwegian knitting and craft site Pickles has outdone itself with these all-white Easter eggs



We’re excited to try these Pinata Eggs from A Subtle Revelry. They’re filled with confetti!



These Easter bunny place cards are a total treat! Janis from Pinecone Camp  has all of the instructions for creating them.



Have you completed an Easter DIY for a blog? Add the link to your project below!

Island Living, Shocks of Color and a Pottery Barn Collaboration: An Interview With India Hicks

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 5 Replies

Today, we’re thrilled to feature an interview with entrepreneur, style icon and mother India Hicks. India Hicks lives on Harbour Island with her family, where she runs her business, blogs and enjoys the beauty of her Caribbean island home. India recently collaborated with Pottery Barn on a photo shoot featuring her office, and while we were there, she gave us an insider’s peek at tropical living, office must-haves and why she loves Pottery Barn furniture. You can also learn more about India Hicks in our Design Love post!




How would you describe your style?

“I would describe it as modern classic.”




What do you find inspiring about living on Harbour Island?

“I find it continuously inspiring. There’s never a day that goes by that I don’t find something new to look at and something to be inspired by. I think that’s because we’re so dominated by nature. There’s the sea around us, the sand we stand on, the sky above us, the trees that shade us — everything has a natural take and so much of the way we’ve designed has been about bringing that nature into the design.”


What are your guidelines for decorating in a tropical environment?

“We try to take all of the harsher elements out. When we moved into our home when we first arrived on the island we took out the glass, the cement and the tile and we replaced those with the softer elements of wood and paper and straw, for instance. We laid down very long, quite dramatic floorboards in our sitting and dining rooms, which immediately dated the house and gave it a real tropical atmosphere. We do very obvious tropical decorating moments such as overhead fans, mosquito netting and dark-stained four-poster beds. These are all things that are very distinctive to an island style. We tried very hard to make it look like our house was made in the 1880s rather than the 1980s and I think that that’s achieved by having a very West Indian plantation feel to it.”




What colors do you gravitate towards?

“We always say that because of the kaleidoscope of colors on the outside when you’re living on an island, on the inside we try to have a more neutral, calm palate. But we also say that rules are made to be broken. For instance, our staircase leading upstairs is painted in a bright hibiscus pink. And really what I recognize is that it’s shocks of color we have. We don’t go for bold massive color, but there are little shocks here and there to keep you on your toes.

Clearly having been brought up as the daughter of David Hicks, who was all about vibrating color schemes, I do have that in my DNA. But again, because there is so much color on the outside, we did tend to paint our walls a soft dove gray and then we brought in a shocking pink sofa for instance, so the room isn’t totally dominated by color.”




When you did your office photo shoot, you brought in items that were significant to you. What were the pieces that gave the room a lot of personality?

“We brought in our collection of straw hats, because I love the idea of bringing texture in. The hats are very tropical. We call them our lending library and whenever we have guests come and stay we have a shelf where these hats live in amongst our library. And the guests will help themselves to one and wear them while they’re here. The hats, I think, do two things: setting the island element and bringing that lovely texture in.”




Can you tell us about the shocks of color you used in the office and how they helped the design?

“I do feel that those shocks of color were important. Again we have the shocks of color such as the red photograph albums. I’m a  huge scrapbook person, so there are a lot of lovely red albums from a wonderful stationery company called Smythson. And we have a shocking pink umbrella that we brought back when we were in India. And we have Anish Kapoor’s painting on the wall, which is all chocolate brown with a deep pink center to it. And we have a big vase of bougainvillea. It’s the whole story of the color, the texture, the hints of island life there, the whole feeliing that it is very personal, it’s quite emotional, but again it is a work atmosphere.”



What defines a home office for you? What are your office essentials?

“It’s quite difficult because you have to have a good balance in a work environment where you’re very focused and there aren’t huge distractions. The greater part of my life is now spent in an office. I’ll sometime come up here at 8 in the morning and leave here at 8 in the evening. Because it’s a home office you want to have a very personal feeling, and thank goodness we’re able to have that personal feeling around us. I think it’s important to have, for instance, a vase of flowers, or a palm frond or something that makes you feel there’s something living in the room, that there is a natural element in there. My desk I designed by myself, incredibly simple with that dark-stained wood, that a local carpenter put together for me. It’s very practical and useful yet it doesn’t have a sterile, cold feel to it. I have a bookcase that I designed that could be considered a cabinet of curiosities. I have my scrapbooks in there and large shells, reference books, design books so again there are all elements of my life there, but they are all neat and orderly at the same time.”




You outfit your guesthouses with PB products. What products and why?

“We have two Pottery Barn sofas. You need very practical pieces of furniture that can be reupholstered very easily. They’re very useful for people that have a lot of dogs and children and a thoroughfare of activity and that’s very much the way we live our lives. I don’t find that the Pottery Barn pieces are very precious and I mean that in the most complimentary of ways. They’re sturdy, good home living pieces.”




What do you find personally more important about decorating a family home?

“We’re very lucky in the fact that we have space. We have a relatively grown up sitting room where we have objects laid out and good paintings on the wall and then there’s a kid room where they have their own environment where they can be kids. And yet at the same time I want my kids with me in the sitting room as well so we don’t buy objects of huge wealth that could break or be mishandled by small fingers. At the same time we want our children to grow up surrounded by a nice environment and good-looking stuff so again it’s finding that balance where a child knows that it’s more of a looking than a touching room but doesn’t feel intimidated by the environment.”




 What Harbour Island foliage is your favorite for decorating?

“I would always go for a green palm frond. They last a long time they’re in abundance outside so they’re completely inexpensive and I think that their neutral texture is quite calming. I like bringing the outside in.  The pink bougainvillea was just for a little bit of fun and to get that shock of color in.”





Our Top 10 Reasons You Should Plan Your Next Party With Soiree: Entertaining With Style

Entertaining, Parties and tagged , , | | | 9 Replies

Preeminent hostess and tastemaker Danielle Rollins is the latest entertaining expert to visit Pottery Barn HQ: She’ll be here tomorrow for a Facebook chat at 10am PT to answer all of your questions about planning the perfect celebration! In honor of her visit, we’re giving away five copies of her fantastic new book Soiree: Entertaining with Style.

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Want to know why we think you’ll love this book? Check out our top 10 reasons below, and then enter for a chance to win one of five copies of her book.

  • Veranda calls Danielle Rollins a “genuine expert—a natural-born entertainer.” You’ll see what the magazine means when you explore the elegant, gorgeous parties in her book.
  • Danielle shares parties and resources for pulling off both intimate and incredibly grand parties.
  • You’ll get a peek at parties featuring tastemakers like Oscar de la Renta and Lela Rose — how fun is that?
  • Prosecco with popsicles: need we say more?
  • One great tip from Danielle: make sure to test your cocktails before the party. We agree wholeheartedly.


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  • The recipes look exquisite. Radish, goat cheese and preserved lemon canapés anyone? 
  • The florals alone are reason enough to spend hours with this beautiful coffee table book. The pink hydrangeas in the party for Emily Giffin are totally swoon-worthy.
  • One party is set in Danielle’s Indian fabric-tented theater room. The pictures and style of this party are absolutely divine.
  • Danielle emphasizes guests’ comfort in each of her parties, and shows you how to accommodate that need with style and elegance.
  • Looking for inspiration for place cards, table settings, florals and invitations? Danielle Rollins has you covered!

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To enter for a chance to win one of five copies of Soiree: Entertaining with Style by Danielle Rollins, simply fill out the form below. (Official rules can be found here.) Good luck, and happy entertaining!

Thank you for reading! This contest is now closed.

INNA Jam on Instagram: Learn More About One of the Local Companies Featured in Our Easter Giveaways

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF and tagged , , | | | 2 Replies

Later this week, we’re giving away an Easter basket to one lucky winner. Chock full of Pottery Barn Easter decor and tabletop items, this Easter basket will also include Easter brunch-inspired edibles from local San Francisco companies. Today we’re getting to know INNA Jam, one of the local companies featured in our giveaway. Since INNA Jam is on Instagram, we thought it would be fun to get to know the company through some of its delicious-looking Instagram photos.




Founded by Dafna Kory, INNA Jam makes fresh, seasonal jams from fruit sourced within 150 miles of its San Francisco Bay Area kitchen. By sourcing produce directly from local organic farmers, INNA Jam is able to use the ripest, freshest fruits for its jams. INNA Jam specializes in single-varietal jams, which means it only use a single type of fruit for each jam — no herbs, spices or other flavorings are used in the jam, only single varietal fruit. INNA Jam is also an environmentally sustainable business. Employees transport and deliver jam on bicycles in the Bay Area. The company also accepts returns of empty jam jars and it composts the scraps from its Emeryville kitchen.




INNA Jam is also offering a variety of shrubs this spring. Shrub, originally from the Middle East and West Africa, became popular in the U.S. in the colonial era, and can be thought of as essentially a fruit-vinegar-sugar syrup. Try it mixed with sparkling water or as a cocktail ingredient.




This year, INNA Jam won a Good Food Award in the category of Preserves. Well deserved! (As you can see INNA also makes some spicy jams, too.)





We’re eager to try this INNA Jam combination: buttermilk vanilla cake with freshly made ruby grapefruit jam.




INNA Jam just released its salt-preserved meyer lemon pickles. Since they’re refrigerated, you can only buy them directly from INNA Jam’s Emeryville kitchen.




Don’t forget to check back later this week for our Easter basket giveaway, which includes a variety of INNA Jam flavors.